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Old 11-10-2012, 08:13 AM   #1
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Traveling across the US

ok, I am looking for some info on traveling across the US up into Canada/Alaska.

I am trying to figure out the best daily mileage to commit to for a daily drive from Georgia to Fairbanks, Alaska.

I would like to average 400 miles a day, but the DW says that would be like 10 hours of driving a day. She is programming an average of 270 a day.

Experienced RVers go...
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:45 AM   #2
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400 miles in 10 hours happens only if you drive at 40 mph. Most of us do 60 mph or more. That would be less than 7 hours. Even so, I don't know that I would want to drive 7 hours a day for more than about 3 days in a row.

Joel
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:48 AM   #3
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Even though we drive 60 - 65 mph our AVERAGE speed is about 40. This is due to potty breaks for our furry kids or just needing to move around a little. 250 - 300 is a good average days travel.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:53 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum but listen to your wife on this one.

400 miles/day is certainly possible, but unless there's some very important reason you have to cover that much ground, I would stick to <300 miles/day.

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Old 11-10-2012, 09:01 AM   #5
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A 300 average is plenty. I have gone 675 but that was during an emergency. For me , a lot depends on conditions. The road ( flat or mountains ) the weather and the speed I'm able to maintain. Sometimes I start out with 250 as a goal but when I get there and all the above conditions are good , I keep going for a while.

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Old 11-10-2012, 10:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Even though we drive 60 - 65 mph our AVERAGE speed is about 40. This is due to potty breaks for our furry kids or just needing to move around a little. 250 - 300 is a good average days travel.
X2

By the time you figure in potty breaks, fueling stops, etc., an average speed of 40-45 mph on the interstates is about par for the course. A 400 mile day can easily wind up being 8 1/2 to 9 hours of "behind the wheel" time. Hard on people, pets and equipment, particularly if done day after day like a "storm across America" trip from Georgia to Alaska would entail. 250-300 miles per day is a figure that can be done day after day without taking a toll on people and machinery. When we wind up doing a 300+ mile day, we both groan and are "road tired" by the end.

We don't even like doing two days of driving in a row . I can understand a lot of people, working people, needing to cover ground, but, thankfully we're retired now and we don't do "overnighters" and we don't do 300+ mile days. It is a big, marvelous country and almost anywhere you go, there is something worth seeing. Even when we were working, we kept our trips "closer to home" to avoid endless, monotonous days on the interstate. A short stay for us is 2 days in one spot, the usual is 3 to 4 days. We travel to see the country and relax; can't do that with 400 mile days, day after day, on an interstate. We haven't done Alaska yet...that's on our list and we'll do it in the next couple of years, but, if I die tomorrow, while I haven't seen Alaska, we've taken a good look at the other 48 (haven't been to Hawaii yet, either)

Shorter miles, shorter days, more enjoyment. Have a wonderful trip!
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Welcome to the forum but listen to your wife on this one.

400 miles/day is certainly possible, but unless there's some very important reason you have to cover that much ground, I would stick to <300 miles/day.

Rick


Sigh, I don't normally like giving up the man card so easily, but the consensus is that the DW might be right on this one~!!! I just can't let her see this post, haha.

Thanks for your input everyone.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:52 AM   #8
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I think it also depends on a couple of things. Are you planning to stay at campgrounds every night? That's and extra couple of hours a day checking in and getting in and out of a space. Highway rest stops or pull outs along the Alcan will speed things up and allow more miles per day.

It's much easier to cover lots of miles in the US on the Interstate Highways. Most roads you travel on in Canada and Alaska are two lane and you will have to drive much slower. The section of road between Whitehorse and the Alaskan Border is always very ruff and you will spend the last day in Canada driving at 35 mph a good part of the time. The road from the border to Fairbanks isn't all that great either.

On your first trip thru Canada you'll also want to stop and see lots of things too. Trying to do 400 a day will mean you will have to just keep going all the time.

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Old 11-10-2012, 12:05 PM   #9
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On the cross-country trip I took back in the 70s we found 5 hrs behind the wheel a day was enough. We liked to stop at dinner time to eat and then see as much as possible before bed. Some days (not that many), if the scenery was boring, we'd do 6 or even 7 hrs. But we'd stop for an hour or more on those long days for lunch and to stretch our legs, make coffee etc. Speed varied with terrain and traffic. We were in no hurry and would sometimes spend a few days in one place to sight-see and just lay around resting up for the next leg of the journey.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:15 PM   #10
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If the only reason to go on this trip is to see Alaska then fly there and save the day after day sitting behind the wheel getting there and getting back. If you actually want to see something along the way you have to schedule time to actually do that. Driving 10 hours each day will not alow that to happen.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:17 PM   #11
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In my experience, you can make 400-500 miles a day driving through the Great Plains states on Interstates. Fairly flat, quite boring.




As mentioned earlier, if you choose to overnight at a rest stop or WalMart, you save at least an hour each day.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:19 PM   #12
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The only time we'll do more than about 200 miles in a day is on the last day coming home to Anacortes from a trip south or on a long stretch where campgrounds are scarce. Portland to Anacortes is about 260 miles and that's all territory we've seen many times and it's I-5 for all but 25 of them.

SR-20 over the North Cascades is a stretch with very few CGs west of Winthrop until you're in the Skagit Valley, which is close enough to home to keep going.
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:29 PM   #13
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I am in the military and moving to Fairbanks from Columbus, GA. The DWs plan is to see the family on the way up then from Great Falls, MT start the trek North through Canada.

I was hoping to make the 2300 mile trip in 5 days, but from what I am gathering that might be a stretch and will most likely make the trip in 10 days.
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:16 PM   #14
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Depending on your route and time of year you may want to drag this out and see the sites. If you do the Canada part through Banff and jasper you can't go fast as your hanging open mouth won't let you press hard on the accelerator! We are contemplating this sort of trip for fun and would dedicate many weeks to the excursion. Perhaps not possible in your situation.

Thanks for your service.

Kelly
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